Celebrating Sangha! On Thursday 10th November, Vidusi led an evening dedicated to celebrating ‘Sangha’ – our spiritual community. During the evening, Peter gave an enjoyable talk about his experiences of Sangha – talking about the people who have been a source of inspiration & support to him over many years.
On Thursday 1st September, the Blackburn Sangha celebrated the founding of the Triranta Buddhist Community. The evening was led by Kamalavajri – we watched a short film about the early days of the movement, followed by a puja & meditation.
On Thursday 21st July, Kamalavajri led the Blackburn Sangha in an evening celebrating the Dharma/Teachings of the Buddha
On Thursday 14th July, at 7pm, Mahashraddha will be leading a workshop on Metta/Loving-Kindness.
On Thursday 21st July, kamalvajri will be leading our Dharma Day festival – celebrating the teachings of the Buddha. There will be a shared vegetarian meal from 6pm & the evening itself starting at 7pm.
As part of Buddhist Action Month (BAM), members of the Blackburn Sangha spent last Thursday evening picking up litter from around the centre, aided by 2 visitors from New Zealand! Blackburn Council kindly lent the equipment.
June is Buddhist Action Month!
For more information about this and ideas how you can become involved, go to the BAM! 2016 site on www.thebuddhistcentre.com.
In Blackburn we shall be doing an Earth Metta Bhavana, an environmental quiz, some litter picking and guerilla gardening and, for the end of the month, a talk by Liz Graham. Some individuals will be going vegan for the month, others are making donations to The Indian Dhamma Trust. Others will switch off all their power for a day or an hour ( not freezers)! They will be reducing their energy footprint. Do come along on a Thursday evening and get involved, there are lots of ways that you can take part, one way for busy types is to exchange their morning meditations for an earth – centred Metta Bhavana, or by making a donation to charity.
A diverse group of 22 individuals met up at the Beamsley project in the Yorkshire Dales for the Blackburn Sangha’s retreat, a journey of self-discovery, friendship, guidance, mutual help and laughter. Surrounded by people with wonderful qualities, and supported by our president Amogavampsa, their joint purpose was the pursuit of freedom, the escape from the prison of ego, which was the theme for the weekend. Greeted by an outstandingly beautiful and meaningful shrine, devised and constructed by Liz Graham, our dedication ceremony flowed out from the shrine room itself to the beat of a drum. Ratnagita expanded our mandala by leading us round the gardens, burying incense and herbs as we circled. During the weekend we had the privilege of listening to Vidusi giving a talk on fear – what are we afraid of? Even the Buddha was afraid he could not teach the Dharma, but, thankfully, did not act upon it. She reminded us that we were supported by Amoghasiddhi and Green Tara, his consort, in overcoming our fears. We were introduced to the 8 dangers mandala, looking through the prison bars of our habitual behaviour, followed by a rejoicing in our merits, the positive and compassionate sides of our natures. We were given time to reflect on these dangers, the ones which affect us most, and offer, during ritual and mediation, what we need to look at, being challenged to ‘go beyond’ what we would normally do. This also took the form of green face paint, green nail varnish and some other worrying dressing up! Group sessions were held, walks in the countryside were taken, good food was prepared and eaten, in silence or with talk, deep and sometimes silly conversations were had, friendships strengthened. We chanted in the rain, got green fingers, ate cake and were reminded that we don’t have to change everything at once. Just by changing one degree affects everything else! On behalf of the Sangha, I would like to thank all those people who made the weekend so smooth running, instructive and fun. You know who you are! Metta, Richard Foster
The beautiful shrine created in celebration of Wesak – the Buddha’s Enlightnment.